Regarding increasing German troops in Afghanistan via the Weekly Standard:
Stinner acknowledged that the Germans “need to do their fair share” but that the cultural hurdles to greater German military involvement were great. “Germans are the most risk-averse people in the world,” he says. And they are not so easily inclined to go to war, following 60 years of social reengineering: “You wanted to have peaceful Germans. Now you have them. Don’t complain.”
He kinda has a point.
The imperialist aggression by Russia against neighboring Georgia over oil pipelines is not the beginning. The Russians have made moves to reassert themselves over the past year and half, or more, and no one has really been paying attention.
I’m just putting some links to past posts here, because I’m about to go swimming, and don’t have time to write about it more, but this is a big deal, what is going down in Russia. As it stands, Europe has decided to get in bed with an abusive husband. We’ll see how long this lasts, because Russia’s ambitions are never small, yet the Europeans collective memory seems astonishingly short.
Russians with money
Cold War days are here again
Georgia’s previous appeasement of Russia. Where I said, “Appeasing Moscow works if you like being called a new Soviet republic member.”
Russia and the Arctic
Russia’s new “Hitler” youth.
Russia’s “street theater“. I said this about the Russian mind and the notion of allies, “”Allies” seems a strange word to use in a sentence with anything Russian. They are like the autistic kid on the world block. (The big one, not the savant one.)”
On Russian-American relations.
Russia does what it does for its own reasons. They value strength and power and little else. They have suffered since the fall of the Berlin Wall and have not viewed the reorganization of geopolitics as favorable to them. Russians will trade freedom for power. In fact, they seem ill-equipped to handle freedom, well, freedom in the “American” sense of freedom.
Russia will make Europe suffer. They are not Europe’s friend. Germany has already sold herself, however. And is an unwitting puppet, or maybe, witting. Better be careful, Germany. For all the irrational fear of America, the country who can harm you most, is already making moves to do so.
The tiny Republic of Georgia, which straddles the land bridge between the world’s largest lake and the largest inland sea, is home to five million people. Both in population and in size, it is smaller than the other Georgia most Americans know. And yet, that miniscule country has provided 2,000 soldiers to assist our mission in Iraq. Why?
The answer to that question is obvious when you look at a list of countries who have forces here. Among the thirty nations are all three Baltic Republics, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhistan, and the Ukraine–each one a former Soviet Republic–along with several former Soviet Bloc countries including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. These are all countries who knew oppression. They knew fear. And they knew death at the hands of dictators.
And here’s more from Roger Kimball regarding McCain vs. Obama’s response:
For his part, Barack Obama called for “talks among all sides and said the United States, the U.N. Security Council and other parties should try to help bring about a peaceful resolution.” Obama looked forward to “an international peacekeeping force” under “an appropriate UN mandate.” As of this writing, there is nothing about the Georgian crisis on the Obmam campaign’s home page.
To recap: John McCain forthrightly condemns Russia’s behavior and demands that Russia withdraw unconditionally. Obama wants to turn the mess over to the UN.
Meanwhile, the presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have issued a joint statement condemning the Russian incursion in Georgia.
McCain endorsed the statement:
I strongly support the declaration issued by the Presidents of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and their commitment that ‘aggression against a small country in Europe will not be passed over in silence or with meaningless statements equating the victims with the victimizers.’
I am not sure that Obama has responded directly to the joint declaration, but John Hinderaker at Powerline notes the difference between McCain and Obama, quoting this statement about the crisis from the Obama campaign: “It’s both sides’ fault–both have been somewhat provocative with each other.”
On 9/11 we were grateful to have a leader who could distinguish between friends and enemies and who was not so crippled by moral relativism that he believed that victims should be equated with their victimizers. In 2008, we have a choice between 1) a man who knows evil and repudiates it and 2) a man who believes that there is “fault on both sides” and that discredited “progressive” institutions like the United Nations are better equipped to deal with disputes among sovereign nations than the nations themselves.
Which would you choose?
Gateway Pundit is all over this mess. Follow him to see what is going on. Here, he talks about Obama’s flip-flopping about Georgia:
Nowhere in Obama’s original statement did he exclusively condemn Russia but rather took the citizen of the world approach and left America’s ally Georgia to fend for itself.
Here is that statement:
“I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war. Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected. All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis.”
But, that was yesterday.
Now Politico is reporting that Barack Obama has released a fresh new statement and has decided to choose sides:
“I condemn Russia’s aggressive actions and reiterate my call for an immediate ceasefire… Russia must stop its bombing campaign, cease flights of Russian aircraft in Georgian airspace, and withdraw its ground forces from Georgia.”
Suddenly, Barack is sounding McCainish.
Drew thinks someone must have looked it up and told Obama which side we are on.
And Russians don’t like Reuters fauxtography either. Aw…
Ace calls him Captain Bullshit, which is apt. But since he’s so into the totalitarian state of mind, I’m going with the simpler Dear Leader. Ace calls the Berlin speech the “Big Stupid Nazi Rally“:
“Vacuous, fatuous, and insipid like every other goddamned thing he says, and that complaint, as always, comes with the subterranean twinge of racism.”
Michelle Malkin shares an awesome poster of Obama and notes the Nazi references.
Ann Althouse synthesizes Obama’s speech for those who miss it:
“I guess we’re not supposed to think about how Obama wanted and still wants to give up on the Iraq war. Surely, if he’d been there in 1948, he would have said the Berlin airlift is hopeless. He thought the surge was hopeless.
I won’t excerpt the rest of the speech. You can read it, but I’ll summarize: Come on, people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another, right now.”
We’re not supposed to think, Ann, we’re supposed to feel.
Well, Glenn Reynolds, for one, thinks the Nazi references are misplaced and that the whole thing has a more gay, lovefest vibe. That’s fine for those in the “know”, but the average American sees a zillion adoring Germans waving flags for an American presidential candidate who has questionable patriotism credentials and Americans make a different connection. It might not be fair, but a “citizen of the world” is probably going for just such imagery. I don’t think the Obama people were thinking love-in, but maybe they were. Or maybe they weren’t thinking. I’m still wondering how on earth they decided this would be a good thing and foregoing visiting the troops in Germany would be a better thing.
Here’s the money quote from the speech: ‘People of Berlin — people of the world — this is our moment. This is our time.’
I think this speech may well be the undoing of his presidential hopes.
Best comment over at Protein Wisdom from B Moe:
“this guy already thinks he’s president”
But President of what, is what I am trying to figure out. It is starting to look like America may be too small a bushel for that bright a light.
Substantively, I welcomed his call for more support from Germany to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she would make clear to Obama that there were limits to Germany’s military engagement in Afghanistan. Merkel may find Obama well-equipped physically, but this seems to be another case in which a government will not be dramatically altering its foreign policy just from a look at Obama’s magic face.
From the Anchoress:
Senator Barack Obama went to Berlin today, a place to which he had no real connection, to make a speech for no actual reason, on no special occasion, and the speech reflected it. It was a brief speech of many words and a lot of filler.
I think I disagree with the Shrink. I think Obama believes not that the actual meaning of what he says is important, but rather that the effect his words have on the hearer is important. This is the key to why he could tolerate Wright’s church for so long, because it would have sent most traditionally well-educated people out, screaming in frustration. Post-modernists truly do not believe in objective meaning.
Shrinkwrapped has a psychological analysis that you absolutely MUST read. He starts thusly and does this not say it all?:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, chapter 6 (1865).
The question is, on what day do Obama’s words mean what they mean him to mean? Shrinkwrapped continues:
Intellectuals earn the disdain of the hoi polloi honestly. They value words much more than they value deeds.
The intellectuals have been the gate keepers of news and memory. An intellectual could explain almost anything to fit his ideology and sanitize any excesses that the ideology facilitated. Thus, for example, The New York Times’s Walter Duranty could win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism for his laudatory series on Stalin’s Russia in the 1930s, while neglecting to mention the millions of deaths Stalin was responsible for by his engineered famine or offer a critical view of Stalin’s show trials. History was not only written by the victors but they could rely upon the useful idiots of the MSM to control the present news as well.
The world has changed but Barack Obama, emerging as he does from the hallways of academic excellence, sees the world through the eyes of an intellectual and apparently has ingested an unhealthy mix of intellectual arrogance and the over-valuation of language that is part of the academic culture. This may well sabotage his campaign; in the event he is elected President, it bodes poorly for his administration.
Jim Geraghty on “My New Messiah“.
Ed Morrissey makes me laugh:
Barack Obama’s campaign started off by insisting that their Berlin speech wasn’t political. Then, after Obama snubbed the troops at Landstuhl and Ramstein, they said it wouldn’t be appropriate to visit while campaigning. At the same time, Obama told a throng of Germans that he wasn’t there as a candidate at all.
Lileks on being a “citizen of the world”:
Not that anyone enforces those duties at the moment. Novel sentiments aside, “World citizen” is used as a badge of empathy that carries no responsibilities. The more it’s used, though, the more it dilutes actual national citizenship, which naturally takes second place to World Citizenship. As it did in Obama’s speech – he said he was a citizen of America and a citizen of the world, not the other way around. To say you’re a citizen of the world and a citizen of America places the latter in the primary slot, no? It’s like saying “I am a married man, and I am also a lover of women.” People would assume you’re sneaking around.
If we are all citizens of the world, then rules about national citizenship sound like archaic encumbrances. If you do not consider yourself a citizen of the world, then you must not care about anyone else but your fellow national citizens, or at least you care less, and that’s not a sentiment you express in polite company. To say that you care more about a bomb in New York than you care about a bomb in Malaysia almost sounds chauvinistic, what with the death of one man anywhere diminishing us all, and so on. It’s a perfectly reasonable sentiment for someone to hold in private, but it is difficult for an American president to say that he cares as much about displaced workers in a Chinese province as he cares about Ohio factory workers. If it’s true, then he hasn’t really grasped the nature of his job. If it’s false, it’s just more windy BS.
The latest, urgent crisis to grip the European Union, and of course, a commission is needed to enforce the rules. From the BBC:
Trade in seal products would be allowed only where they came with guarantees that the animals did not suffer unnecessarily.
A certification scheme would be established including, if necessary, a distinctive label or mark, showing that a seal-trading country met strict conditions.
And all that I can think is that Europe has the luxury of fretting over baby seals because they’re secure in knowing that America will spend resources to protect baby Europeans should it come down to it. So why would they need a missile defense shield?
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
You have to read this article by James Lewis of the American Thinker, he says, more artfully, what I was trying to convey here. A little lesson:
Just like one of those embarrassing American tourists, Obama insenitively reminds Europeans of past massacres and the war propaganda and hysteria that marked the Prussian rise to dominance. The German crowds probably won’t chant “Hoch! Hoch!” at Obama, as they used to when der Kaiser’s Prussian troops went marching by on the way to the killing fields of World War I. But what will they chant? Or is chanting forbidden, along with banners?
As a German politician remarked,
“The Siegessaeule in Berlin was moved from the Reichstag (German parliament) to its current position by Adolf Hitler,” Rainer Bruederle, deputy chairman of the opposition Liberal Party, FDP, said in an interview with Bild am Sonntag. He said he questioned, “if Barack Obama has been well advised to use it as the site of a speech outlining his vision of a world of cooperation.”
Yes, well. Good taste is not exactly the mark of Obama’s rallies so far. The Germans are lucky that Obama isn’t opening with the Decemberist rock band playing the Soviet National Anthem, as they are wont to do, the same way his famous “75,000 person rally” opened in Portland, when he beat Hillary in the Oregon Primary. The real Decemberists were secret Russian revolutionaries, whose movement ultimately led to the mass murder of some 100 million unfortunate people during the reign of Marxist regimes in Europe. That ended with the crumbling of the Berlin Wall in the late 1980s, at the urging of Ronald Reagan. But Obamanistas wouldn’t know about that.
No, they wouldn’t, but Germans know. And there are reasons they love Obama. His ideas feel very familiar and the familiar is comfortable:
In fact, Eurosocialism still contains all the seeds of classic European imperialism: The endless sense of Europe’s superiority over the rest of the world, the preachiness of how the rest of the world must live, the constant efforts to impose global carbon taxes, poverty taxes, and UN rules on subject nations (like the US) for the greater glory of Germany-France-Spain-Britain — all the classic European imperial powers look at the US with green imperialism envy.
Imperialism never stopped in Europe. It just stopped being violent for a while, because America beat European imperial powers in WWI, WWII, and the Cold War. And don’t think they don’t know it. Why do you think Europeans loved to hate America over the overthrow of Saddam? Saddam’s Baathist Party was modeled after Europe’s fascist parties, after all.
As Roger Cohen just wrote in the New York Times, itself the very home and soapbox of Eurosocialism in America,
“Barack Obama has already won the U.S. election by a landslide. In Europe, that is. Polls show the French putting the first African-American in the White House with 86 percent backing. Obamania is about as intense in Germany and Britain, the two other European countries the Senator will visit this week.”
Welcome back to Europe, Senator Obama. They will recognize you there, although they might be just a little bit nervous about those screaming mass rallies on their home grounds. That hasn’t really happened a lot since you-know-who.
It will be interesting to see how the Berliners feel about this display of pomp and pride and oratory of big ideas, not to mention the big crowds and adoring adulation. This is what gives conservatives pause. This is what liberals don’t see because they are blinded by emotion.
Ed Morrissey notes this:
Team Obama has outdone themselves on symbolism with this choice. They’ve managed to make their hosts uncomfortable for a second time with their choice of rallying point, and perhaps more so this time. If one wanted to talk peace, what worse location could one choose than Adolf Hitler’s favorite monument to militaristic domination? One has to wonder how France, Denmark, and Austria will feel about Obama rallying German masses under the Siegessäule. Deja vu?
Life is not fair–especially for babies. Babies are stuck. If their moron parents wait too long to change their diapers, babies must suffer. Babies don’t get to drink French wine and that’s just l’abominable. Babies don’t know the pleasures of Kobe beef. Babies are deprived of the pleasures of sexual relations. Babies don’t get to serve in the military. Most of all, babies don’t get to vote.
It. Is. Not. Fair.
German babies will be equal, finally:
According to the head of the liberal Free Democratic Party traditional coalition partner of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU party the constitutional change would enfranchise 14 million people.
“Unfortunately in Germany, 17 per cent of the population, namely the children and adolescent, are excluded from political decision making,” said FDP chief Dirk Niebel.
“This is a situation we cannot accept any longer. We generally have to pay more attention to their interests.” The law is proposed as part of a review of voting rights which its champions hope will be in force for the federal elections in Germany next year.
Dirk, you are so right. Disenfranchised babies have been a problem, a big problem. I mean, it’s almost as bad as how poorly treated the Jews used to be. Almost.
Germans demonstrate their awesome insight once again:
The Pew Global Attitudes Project, published last month, showed that 66 per cent of Germans had unfavourable views of the US and that China and Russia had more interest than Washington in Germany’s point of view. The sheer animosity towards America was displayed recently in sneering media reviews of the new, admittedly uninspiring, US embassy building in Berlin. A serious conservative newspaper identified the building’s roof terrace as a “spa and water-boarding zone”, referring to US military abuse of prisoners.
Not that I give a baboons red butt about what Germans think about America’s leaders or anything, because I don’t. What I find interesting is that these erudite socialists more closely identified with China and Russia. The latter is hilarious considering how Russia would just as soon cut off oil to Europe to ever so subtly influence European politics. In essence, as Gerhard Schroeder proved, Germany is Russia’s bitch and the Germans have more warm fuzzies for them than America.
Idiots. And here’s further proof of their idiocy:
The embarrassment in Berlin masks the fact that almost every corner of the German political establishment now, with varying degrees of openness, wants Obama to win. The press call it “Obamania”. The only reservations about Mr Obama are that he may be “too idealistic” — the Germans found it very difficult to deal with another Democratic idealist, Jimmy Carter — and that he may pay no more than lip service to the principles of free trade. But in most other respects he ticks every box in the checklist of Chancellor Merkel, who has already scheduled a meeting with the senator.
The Germans found it difficult to deal with another Democratic idealist, huh? Well, I can think of a socialist idealist they love, love, loved. The Germans have been notoriously lacking in judgment when it comes to the leaders they choose. And they have chosen Obama. I’m just saying….
Cross-posted at Right Wing News